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Code: 40336
ECTS: 8.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar - Lectures
izv. prof. dr. sc. Marko Miliša - Lectures
Lecturers: Marko Miliša - Seminar
Maria Špoljar - Seminar

Denis Bućan - Practicum
Fran Rebrina - Practicum
Zuzana Redžović - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


The lecturer is not able to offer courses in English at this time.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 60
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Gain an appreciation of the importance, value, and diversity of the invertebrates.
2. Interpret basic concepts in animal taxonomy.
3. Recognize and identify the major groups of invertebrates using practical skills.
4. Analyse basic morphological, anatomical, physiological and ethological adaptations of invertebrates on environmental conditions and interpret their adaptations using abilities of dissection, observation and annotation.
5. Recognize and classify invertebrates in marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats of Croatia.
6. Compare invertebrate biodiversity between different ecosystems.
7. Identify the ecological roles played by key groups of invertebrates.
8. Specify the different reproductive strategies of invertebrates.
9. Prepare and present short oral presentations.


1. Introduction to the invertebrates: Abundance, distribution and diversity of invertebrates in biosphere and their ecological position. Origin of Metazoa and key events in evolution of animals.
2. Invertebrate architecture and the bauplan concept: symmetry, body size, reproduction and embryonic development, body cavities.
3. Principles of animal classification and systematic. Position of phyla and superphyla in the phylogenetic tree of animals.
From 4th to 15th: Structural and functional characteristics of the invertebrate groups (phyla) and their adaptations to environmental conditions. Phylogenetic position and relationships. Diversity and distribution and ethology of invertebrates. Invertebrate representatives within the Croatian fauna. Ecological importance of invertebrates and their significance for humans:
4. Porifera, Mesozoa
5. Cnidaria, Ctenophora
6. Platyhlminthes
7. Nemertea, Rotifera, Nematoda
8. Mollusca
9. Mollusca
10. Annelida, Echiura, Sipuncula
11. Arthropoda (Trilobitomorpha and Cheliceriformes)
12. Arthropoda (Crustacea)
13. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
14. Arthropoda (Hexapoda and Myriapoda)
15. Lophophorata, Echinodermata and Hemichordata.

Practicum lessons are based on temporary and/or permanent preparation of invertebrates (living or fixed/stained) for microscopic and/or macroscopic observation of their external features and internal structures. Some laboratories involve dissection of selected invertebrates. Students practice independent observation and reasoning on the functional organization of the representative taxa.

1. Porifera
2. Cnidaria (Anthozoa and Scyphozoa)
3. Cnidaria (Hydrozoa) and Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria)
4. Platyhelminthes (Trematoda and Cestoda)
5. Nematoda and Rotifera
6. Mollusca (Gastropoda)
7. Mollusca (Bivalvia and Cephalopoda)
8. Mollusca diversity
9. Annelida (Polychaeta and Oligochaeta)
10. Arthropoda (Chelicerata and Crustacea)
11. Arthropoda (Crustacea)
12. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
13. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
14. Bryozoa and Echinodermata
15. Overview of preserved material, presentation and use of determination literature

Seminar topics are closely related to the lectures. Every student has to prepare a short oral presentation and written summary based on either a chapter from the book, scientific and/or popular-scientific articles.
  1. Habdija, I., Primc Habdija, B., Radanović, I., Špoljar, M., Matoničkin Kepčija, R., Vujčić Karlo, S., Miliša, M. Ostojić, A., Sertić Perić, M. (2011): Protista-Protozoa i Metazoa-Invertebrata. Strukture i funkcije.- Alfa d.d., Zagreb, 584 str., ISBN 978-953-297-306-8.
  2. Habdija, I., Primc Habdija, B., Radanović, I., Vidaković, J., Kučinić, M., Špoljar, M., Matoničkin, R., Miliša, M. (2004): Protista-Protozoa i Metazoa-Invertebrata. Funkcionalna građa i praktikum.- Meridijani, Samobor.
4. semester
Mandatory course - Mandatory studij - Biology
Consultations schedule:
  • prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar :

    During working time and by e-mail.

  • prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar :

    During working time and by e-mail.